However, at CAAD, as experts in retail design and visual merchandising, we want to shed some light, never better said, on this subject, highlight the importance of light .

And, of course, offer you some tips for a perfect store lighting design. We will start this article with a very significant piece of information. According to data from the consulting firm Kissmetrics, when we look at an object, between 60 and 90% of the information that reaches us in the first 90 seconds is related to color.

Why is this information important? Because colors provoke stimuli that can range from joy to sadness or illusion and fantasy and, therefore, they can condition our shopping experience. In a dark store, where it is difficult for us to even perceive the details of the product … it will be more difficult for us to buy than in one with a lot of light, bright colors and where when trying on the product, the light highlights our figure and we see ourselves better than even in our best mirror at home.

Sight is our most fundamental sense because it allows us to carry out our day-to-day activities, also go shopping. The first contact between an establishment and the consumer occurs through sight. That is why, as it happens in many areas of our lives, the first impression is very important. In this sense, good lighting improves both the design and the atmosphere of our store.

But … what do we need for a perfect lighting design in stores? First of all, we have to be aware of the role that light plays in our business, know the different types of lights and their functionality, the technical aspects, etc … Once we have this background in relation to lighting design in stores, the time to put it into practice by applying the theory to the design of light in our store. So… let’s get started?



In-store lighting has a very strategic functionality and goes beyond simply lighting the exterior and interior of the establishment




In-store lighting has a very strategic functionality


Why is optimal in-store lighting design important?

Poor lighting in an establishment can hurt sales. Optimal light goes far beyond illuminating the product. Lighting is closely related to two fundamental aspects:


1. The product we sell.
Selling jewelry is not the same as selling shoes, right? If the product changes, the environment and the light it needs… too.


2. What we want to convey to consumers.
For a more intimate atmosphere we will need a more subdued light while if we seek to create a minimalist environment that transmits naturalness and calm we will have to bet on natural light.


Lighting also serves as a claim to attract the customer to our shop window or to highlight an item. For example, a dark or highly reflective window will make it difficult for the consumer to see the product clearly and will probably not cross the store to enter to buy. And when we want to enhance a product, it is not enough to place it above the others, the correct lighting will help it stand out much more and attract the customer’s attention.

In short, in-store lighting has a very strategic functionality and goes beyond simply lighting the exterior and interior of the establishment.




Why is optimal in-store lighting design important?



Types of light

As we said, there are several types of light and we will choose one or the other depending on the type of product, the needs of the establishment, what we want to convey with our design, performance and consumption, the opening hours of the establishment, etc.

In this context, it is clear that light is not always the same, therefore, let’s start with the most technical knowledge: the types of light that exist and the most common in stores.


Natural light

As its name suggests, it comes from nature, from the sun. It is very important to take it into account in the design of the lighting in our store, mainly for one reason: it is never the same and it varies as the hours of the day go by.



Store lighting design with natural light


Artificial light

Created by humans through the use of lamps, light bulbs, etc. It is the light that we can manipulate according to our needs or objectives.

There are different types of artificial light:



Helps bring out details and highlight objects. Although the intensity can be regulated, it loses light power over time.


Metallic halogen
It is a bright light that respects the natural color of objects, without altering them. Its use is common in product exhibitions.


With low consumption and low performance, it is the most common in offices and spaces where light is needed for many hours.


The light of the present and of the future mainly for its efficiency and performance. Today it is the type of light that allows low consumption as well as high efficiency. In addition, it gives off almost no residual heat. Although its price is higher, in the long term it is more profitable.


Once we have chosen the type of light we want to use, we must also assess other technical aspects such as the type of bulb, the temperature, the power, the transformers, the different placement options, …



Store lighting design with artificial light



The perfect store lighting design: a lighting for each area of ​​the store

In each establishment there are different spaces: the fitting rooms, the boxes, exhibitors and shelves, central tables, the shop window, … In this sense, although the lighting design of a store is carried out accordingly, each individual area needs its own light, in function of the objective of the same.


Facade and window display
It is the first point of contact with the customer. The first impression it makes on them will determine whether the consumer enters the establishment or passes by. In shop windows the most common is to use spotlights and spotlight rails to highlight the shape and texture of the products on display. To create different atmospheres dimmers are used.


Once in the store, it is vitally important to direct the customer’s attention to the products on the shelves. Therefore, it is one of the store areas where lighting is most relevant and must be of high quality. For shelves it is best to use bright white light LED lamps.


Fitting rooms
It is a decisive space for the purchase so the light must be flattering. For this, lights are used on the sides of the mirrors. This type of light helps reduce shadows caused by overhead spotlights. It is also recommended that it be a warm, more comfortable light. And, if we want to save energy, motion sensors can be applied so that the light only turns on when someone is inside the tester.


Dynamic lighting is recommended to make waiting more pleasant.





An example of optimal store lighting design is Mercadona, a Spanish supermarket brand. All their establishments use lighting to be more efficient. To do this, Mercadona has implemented a “Store by Ambient” lighting methodology so that each space has its own design and lighting. In addition, all the lights are energy efficient and are controlled by a system of timers and presence detectors to promote energy savings.


In short, commercial lighting has a strategic role in business. A perfect  store lighting design will help us to influence the mood of the customers, create a unique atmosphere and highlight some products with respect to others and, therefore, it becomes one more element to take into account for the proper functioning of the business.



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